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On mi fa mi
Change in legal
By DIANA FLORENCE
and LYNN PHILLIPS
I he college experience changed
dramatically in September
1986 when North Carolina
raised its legal drinking age from 19
to 21. Now, two years later, under
age students are still feeling the
effects of strict drinking regulations,
from campus dormitories to Frank
lin Street bars.
The drinking policy in dormito
ries was one of the first things
affected by the new law. "The law
necessitated the prohibiting of kegs
of beer in dorms and a heightened
awareness on the part of RAs (resi
dent assistants) to make sure under
age drinking does not occur," said
Collin Rustin. associate director of
the housing department.
If an RA sees someone who is
underage drinking, the RA will give
a verbal warning the first time and a
written report to the area director
the second time. If the problem per
sists, the resident's contract can be
terminated and referred to the honor
court. Rustin said.
"The rules are enforced." said
Cassi Crall, a junior from Cary. "1
am afraid to drink in my room, even
though 1 feel it is my personal busi
ness what goes on in my room."
The Residence Hall Association
does not allow drinking at any dor
mitory functions. "In some situa
tions, such as social programs. I feel
that some residents choose not to
come because it is a dry function."
said Kirsten Kalkhurst. a junior RA.
Drinking is still allowed in desig
nated areas in each residence hall.
The director of housing must give
his approval before alcohol can be .
consumed in the majority of these
In addition. University police may
While the University police are
not in business just to control under
age drinkers, they have made 19
arrests for underage possession since
July I, 1988.
"We don't go through the dorms
A part of the
age affects students' habits
on drink patrol. Usually, we are
called into the area for a routine dis
ruption such as noise and we end up
handing out citations for underage
drinking," said Sgt. Ned Comar.
During events such as concerts at
the Smith Center, University police
modify their policy in order to keep
control. "Sometimes we simply let
them dispose of their alcohol instead
of giving citations," Comar said.
Crowded events, such as Burnout
and Springfest, are also the respon
sibility of the University police.
"Officers go to the events and are
instructed to let everyone have a
good time. If there is blatantly
obvious underage drinking, then
well do something about it."
According to Lenora Topps, the
supervisor at the Alcohol Law
Enforcement (ALE) Agency in Dur
ham, most people do not realize the
extent of the legal consequences of
underage drinking. "A citation for a
19- or 20-year-old drinking beer or
wine is like a traffic infraction."
Nominal fines range from $10 to
$40 and do not go on the student's
record, officials said.
"The 1 6- to 1 8-year-old caught
drinking beer or wine or a 16- to 20-year-old
caught drinking liquor is
faced with a misdemeanor which
can result in up to two years in pri
son and a $500 fine," Topps said.
The largest problem with alcohol
is not the alcohol itself but the
behavior that results from alcohol.
"People do things that they wouldn't
do sober under the influence of beer
because inhibitions are lowered."
Comar said. "A person will go get"
beered up, pick up a rock, and
throw it through the Arboretum
greenhouse window or a window in
a classroom building just to hear
, glass rattle."
The University police try to deal
with alcohol proactively and make
sure that any organization serving
alcohol checks IDs to make sure
they do not serve underage drinkers.
Campus organizations each have
their own system to deal with under
age drinking. The Carolina Union
has found success in allowing those
students who are 21 to drink at cer
tain social functions.
"Alcohol is contained," said Anne
McK.ee, operations manager for the
Union. "There are not that many
alcohol functions, just events in
Great Hall, the Union Bash and the
Cabaret. Some events are more suc
cessful when students can drink
because the atmosphere goes with
band parties. I haven't seen a
Campus activities are not the only
aspect of UNC life that has been
affected by the new drinking age.
Bars on Franklin Street have under
gone changes too. According to
Tom LaVake, a graduate student
from Manasquan, N.J., "It seems
like almost everyone at Carolina
used to go to the bars when the
drinking age was 19. The new law
has prevented almost two-thirds of
the undergrads from legally going .
One of the most noticeable effects
of the new law is the amount of fake
identifications that have been pro
duced, said Allan Gorry, a fifth-year
senior from Hickory and a carder at
"It seems like everyone has one,
and if they don't they want one,"
said Terry McCall, a fifth-year
senior from Marion.
According to Gorry, "On a typical
weekend night, 1 turn away all types
of IDs: phony identification cards,
fake driver's licenses and driver's
licenses of other people that are 21."
He said that state law mandates that
he can only accept a valid driver's
license, state issued identification
cards or a passport.
Joe Thompson of Bub O'Malley's
Pub said that carders check any sus
picious licenses against an official
book of state driver's licenses and
identification cards. All fake IDs are
turned over to Alcoholic Beverage
Control (ABC) officials. "We don't
like to be so tough, but we could
lose our liquor license if the ABC
found underage drinkers at Bub's,"
Always and forever
addiction never finds a cure
By ANNA TURNAGE
nee a cucumber becomes a .
pickle, it will never be a
This is how Wilkie Melton, a rec
overing alcoholic, describes his con
dition. "You can't ever be an ex
alcoholic. You can only be inactive,"
Melton, public relations director
at Chaps Koala rehabilitation cen
ter, has been an inactive alcoholic
for nearly 10 years. But that does
not compare to the 20 years he spent
as an active alcoholic.
Melton grew up in Gaston
County in a stable, middle-class
family. None of his family members
had any problems with drinking. He
went through high school and col
lege with limited alcohol use but
started drinking heavily in his mid
208. "I had a beautiful family and a
very successful furniture business,
and I was making a very exceptional
salary," he said. "With all those
things going for me, I gave it all up
Experts warn of
By JACKI GREENBERG
hen we were young, televi
sion commercials taught
us to cry, "Hey Kool-Aid!"
and a big, smiling jug of red punch
would break down walls to quench
But those innocent days of red
mustaches are long gone. Many of
yesterday's children would not be
satisfied with a glass of Kool-Aid
unless it were spiked with vodka or
"Alcohol is by far the biggest
problem on this campus," said Bill
Riddick, coordinator of UNC drug
prevention programs. "There is a
feeling on campus that being drunk
is all right."
Students who plan to drink at
Springfest and Beach Blast this
weekend must learn to set limits for
themselves, Riddick said. "When
you get a 'buzz,' quit. Then you can
watch those who are drunk and be
glad you aren't acting as stupid as
they are." ' .
Riddick, who is also the assistant
health educator for Student Health
Service, counsels 200 to 300 students
each year with various alcohol
According to a study conducted
by UNC's Institute for Research in
Social Science (IRSS) in 1986-87, 42
percent of UNC students will drink
more than six drinks on one occa
sion. Twenty-two percent of these
students drink heavily one to three
times a week.
But it does not take such large
quantities to cause harm later in life.
"Ten years of moderate social drink
ing about three drinks a day,
three days a week can cause pre
mature aging," said Robert Hicks,
research scientist in the Center for
Alcohol Studies. "The damage won't
show up immediately, but the
cumulative damage could shorten
someone's life from 85 to 65 years.
"College men would be particu
larly interested to know that alcohol
impairs their ability to function sex
ually," Hicks continued. While one
The Daily Tar
His problem stemmed from the
stress created at his job, which
forced him to take prescription diet
pills for energy. "We worked long
hours at the furniture company, and
I needed those pills to stay awake.
Finally it became necessary for me
to drink so I could sleep," he said.
Melton's family sent him to reha
bilitation centers three times with no
success and finally asked him to
"It was pretty bad. He lost his
whole family and his job," said
Ernie Williamson, a close friend of
Melton's. "He was their right-hand
man, but then he let the bottle get
By 1971 Melton was drinking
anything he could get his hands on.
"I would drink anything that had
alcohol in it, like extract, Listerine
or shaving lotion just anything,"
It was not uncommon for him to
wake up in a hotel and have to buy
a newspaper just to find out what
city he was in and what the date
was. "I would drive my car and have
no idea how I got home. I don't
dangers in irresponsibility
"Abuse of alcohol among students has '
been with us since the days of Hinton
Frederic Schroeder, dean of students
or two drinks may release their inhi
bitions and enhance their enjoyment
of sexual acts, larger doses actually
diminish their ability to perform.
If a person wants to drink, there
are relatively safe ways to do it. The
ideal rule is to keep to one drink an
hour, Hicks said. "And if you want
to keep from doing brain damage,
eat while you drink."
At outdoor parties it is important
to drink water between alcoholic
drinks. The combination of alcohol
and heat can cause dehydration, and
the body needs a chance to replace
the water it loses. "After a day of
drinking, don't go and drink all
night and the next day," Hicks said.
Hangovers and negative effects
associated with heavy drinking are
good because they may prevent peo
ple from drinking heavily in the
future. Hicks said. "The next time
someone wants to drink maybe
they'll remember how bad they felt
and how many neurons they killed
the last time."
People who have severe hangov
ers are less likely to become alcohol
ics, while those who do not suffer
the next morning have a much
greater risk for addiction, Riddick
While many people turn to
aspirin, acetaminophen and ibu
profen tablets to relieve a pounding
headache, large doses can be harm
ful if taken with alcohol.
"Aside from kidney dialysis, time
is the only cure for a hangover,"
In recent IRSS studies, about 80
percent of UNC students said they
drink either moderately or heavily,
and 20 percent said they abstain.
These figures coincide with the data
for American society in general.
Heel Wednesday, April 5, 19896
know how 1 made it," he said.
In 1979, a friend helped him seek
treatment again, and eventually
Melton ended up with a room at the ;.
Charlotte YMCA and a job at a
local convenience store. "I didn't n
know if I intended on staying sober, .
but I intended on taking it one day ' "
at a time." - ;
After three or four months of ;
staying sober. Melton's life began to ;
pull together again. "1 realized that 1 ;
was beginning to feel pretty good
about myself. The longer 1 stayed
sober, the more I enjoyed life." he
July will mark the 10th anniver
sary of Melton's recovery. He is now
heavily involved with UN C Student
Health Service to help educate slur
dents about alcohol abuse. "I just
want them to be aware of how
important alcohol can become to an
individual," he said. "You can get .
really flaked out on something and.
not know what you're doing. I know
you like to have fun, but there are ,
other ways of doing that besides des
troying yourself mentally."
Riddick said that of the 80 percent
of Americans who drink, 20 percent
are problem drinkers and 10 percent
are on their wav to addiction. .
Frederic Schroeder, dean of stu
dents, said, "Abuse of alcohol
among students has been with us
since the days of Hinton James."
If anything has changed, said
Schroeder, it is the frequency of
alcohol use. What used to be a "let's J;
party on the weekend" attitude has H
expanded to weeicnignts.
Within the UNC student body H
there are typically one or two deaths
a year directly related to alcohol
abuse, Schroeder said. There are .
generally five to 10 alcohol-related .;rj
accidents which are life-threatening!;!
"It is extremely difficult to draw. I;) J
the line between alcohol use and
abuse," Schroeder said.
of UNC students who have alcohol; j
problems or just want to learn rnorjj
about alcoholism. It is the only
Alcoholics Anonymous group which;
meets on campus right now, said the
faculty advisor for RAMS, who ;J
asked that his full name not be used.:
Open meetings are held in Chase
Hall Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m.
In addition, clinics such as Char-,
ter Northridge Hospital exist to help
people with alcohol problems.
"A college student drinks because
it feels good, they're less inhibitive,
they talk more and dance better,"
said Wally Slatinsky, administrator
of Charter Northridge's adult alco
hol recuperation program. "But
some people start drinking and the
genetic tendency towards alcoholism
takes over. They have no choice.
That first drink just sets up the
t s .